2016 Legislative Priorities
is the district's comprehensive multi-year plan to increase student achievement. Destination 2020 and the fiscal outlook for education statewide lay a clear picture of where we must place our attention this legislative session. Decisions made during this session will have an impact on the future of education across Alaska.
Adequately fund education
- Continue state funding of the PERS/TRS retirement liability
- Increase the BSA to account for both inflation and for adequate education for grades preschool-12
- Reevaluate the use of Anchorage as the base in determining the cost-of-living factor in the funding formula
- Provide stable forward-funding that addresses inflation
- Increase the Education Endowment Fund to provide a sustainable funding source
Even with the funding provided in the 2016 Legislative Session, all Alaskan districts are struggling with revenue shortfalls, primarily due to inflationary pressures and additional state mandates. Education funding in Alaska should be determined by examining the components of an Adequate Education system, including pupil-teacher ratio and class size. The funding formula should be studied for needed CPI adjustments. Districts are challenged with long-term budgetary planning when inflation is not adequately addressed. An adequately funded education endowment will provide a long-term fiscal plan for meeting educational needs of districts.
Provide funding for early college opportunities
Some high school students want to take college or vocational courses prior to high school graduation. Reasons vary, but oftentimes students may be ready for a greater challenge than what is currently being offered at their high school, or may wish to “try out” classes to increase college readiness before committing to a degree program. Some students seek more advanced career and technical training than what may be offered in their district. A limiting factor for many students is cost.
Support districts to seek high-value medical coverage for their employees
School districts and their employees around Alaska continue to face high and rapidly growing medical coverage costs. ASD encourages the Legislature to enable, but not require, larger collaborative group medical service and group medical coverage, as well as value-based payment and procurement methods among public and private sector employees.